An advert in which Heinz fans drum out a song on a tin has been banned on health and safety grounds.
The advert showed children, teenagers and adults using empty or full Heinz Baked Beanz tins to drum out the rhythm of the song, with the catchline “Learn the #CanSong”.
But nine viewers complained, saying the ad encouraged “unsafe practice”, with some suggesting the behaviour shown might be dangerous if children copied it.
Heinz disagreed, claiming people were shown tapping the sealed tin so they could not put hands or fingers inside it, and always with the can placed on “safe” surfaces.
The company said the fact that consumers had uploaded their own versions of the song on to social media sites showed it was “evidence that copying the ad was not prejudicial to their health or safety”.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said that consumers were “unlikely to be as proficient as the actors” at flipping and twirling the can around.
It said: “In any case, particularly given the manoeuvres required, it might still be possible that mistakes could be made with an empty can, which might include a hand or fingers being inserted into an open tin, with the associated risk of cuts.”
It pointed out the ad did not tell consumers to make sure the tin can was safe before trying to learn the song.
It concluded: “For the reasons given and because the ad did not include information on how to ensure consumer safety when recreating the song, we concluded that the ad condoned and encouraged behaviour that prejudiced health or safety.”
The ASA ruled the advert should not be broadcast again in its present form, adding: “We told Heinz to ensure that future ads did not condone or encourage behaviour that prejudiced health and safety, including behaviour that could be dangerous for children to emulate, for example by featuring open tin cans being used to play music.”
Manufacturer Heinz said: “We believe this popular ad did not pose any safety risk and many fans were inspired to create their own video versions.
“Of course safety is our number one priority and our online tutorials also included taping the can end as an extra precaution.
“Although we acknowledge the ASA decision, the TV campaign is over and we have no plans to run it again.”
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